“I know I have the best of time and space– and that I was
never measured, and never will be measured.
I tramp a perpetual journey,
My signs are a rain-proof coat and good shoes and a
staff cut from the woods; …”
“I believe a leaf of grass is no less than the journeywork of the stars.
And the pismire is equal, and a grain of sand, and the egg of a wren…” from Leaves of Grass, first publication- 1855.
Rereading Walt Whitman. So much of his work is pivotal to the artist; whether new & looking for courage, or established & needing to keep kindled the spark through dark nights; Walt Whitman’s Song of Myself & Leaves of Grass make wonderful companions- positive & magnanimous. I like how Whitman essays & poems read like manifestos: not just to pioneers establishing new frontier, but to the fledgling– daring to wonder (in song!) about his/her own vast store of untapped potential. Celebration. Youth. Joy & unbridled passion. Fearlessness in the face of it all. Blake, Rilke, & Whitman- are all good for stirring the heart and soul this way; an urging for us all to drink down the elixir of our own gifts- with passion and confidence. Aaah- if I had read any of these as a child writer, when first searching in the fathomless world… But spark & kindling… always here, every day of the week 😉
Timed with the growing buzz of holidays, I crave stillness, more time to read, & books. Big, old books. And a nesting corner to hold them on rainy nights. From Pinterest board of Books & Reading Corners.
Not sure why, but mid-19th c. authors/books are grabbing me now. Despite their sometimes crazy blatant sexist, racist, and plain Machiavellian slants of empire- I like the lexicon and language of the day. And the day-in-the-life snapshot of a pioneering spirit. And I’m wanting to get back to one of those “100 greatest books” lists. Found a vintage store nearby that has very cool old books… ;).
Of course this goes against my streamline-the-library mentality of our last move. But the illustrations in this 1923 Jungle Book…
or this Milton poetry book illustrated by Blake, are tough to pass on. Amazing to read one of these printed in a year near its original publication…Like this 1888 edition of James Fennimore Cooper novels. I had opened the preface to learn what a “leather stocking” meant, but learned instead of the many biases toward the “savages.” Ugh… early cultural bias- uncultured & stark awful.
New “Greatest book lists” keep spawning…
100 Greatest Novels: http://www.adherents.com/people/100_novel.html
**World List- 100 Top Books of All Time: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2002/may/08/books.booksnews
I love the international lists: “This list of the 100 best books of all time was prepared by Norwegian Book Clubs. They asked 100 authors from 54 countries around the world to nominate the ten books which have had the most decisive impact on the cultural history of the world, and left a mark on the authors’ own thinking. Don Quixote was named as the top book in history but otherwise no ranking was provided.”
100 Best Novels- both Random’s and it’s Reader’s lists- are interesting. http://www.modernlibrary.com/top-100/100-best-novels/
What have I missed? Tell me your favorite book lists!